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How to Create Profiles in Google Chrome

by Chrome Blog on September 5, 2008

How to Create User Profiles in Google Chrome

Chrome by default doesn’t have the ability to have separate user profiles, which is a nice feature to have when you are sharing the computer with family members. Browsers are getting more “personal” allowing the user to customize many aspects of it’s functionality as well as having the browser remember keywords searched, URL’s visited etc to make life more convenient.

Google Chrome has ‘In-Cognito’ mode which allows sessions to be run and no data is recorded after the tab is shut, but it’s not real practical for general browsing because there are things you want the browser to save. So creating profiles allows you to separate your browser data from other family members or work colleagues. Here is a way to create profiles in Google Chrome, we will give the user ‘Fred’ his own Chrome profile:

#1 Start Chrome then clear all history by selecting “Clear Browsing History” in the Tools menu. This step just ensures your second profile will be clear of any personal data carried over from your primary profile.

#2 Navigate to and open the Google Chrome installation folder which can be found at the following location:

For Windows Vista


For Windows XP

C:\Documents and Settings\username\Local
Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome

#3 Next open up Windows Explorer and change to the “User Data” folder inside the Chrome installation folder. Next select the subfolder caleld “default” and make a copy of it in the “User Data” folder itself and give your new copy a name, in this case Fred.

Your folder structure should look like this:

#4 This is optional, but we can setup Freds Chrome profile to default settings.

Open up “Command Prompt” and switch to the Chrome Application folder and run the following command:

chrome.exe –user-data-dir=”..\User Data\Fred” -first-run

#5 Freds profile is all done, but there’s one more step to use Freds profile instead of the default profile, and that is a Shortcut on your desktop for easy access.

Right click anywhere on the desktop, choose New -> Shortcut and type the following location:

For Windows Vista:

C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe –user-data-dir=”..\User Data\Fred”

For Windows XP:

C:\Documents and Settings\User\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe –user-data-dir=”..\User Data\Fred”

There you have it, dual profiles for Google Chrome

{ 1 trackback }

configuration (chrome dsi) by davask - Pearltrees
12.11.11 at 1:15 am

{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Erik 09.06.08 at 12:34 am

when i do the cmd prompt thing it says i can’t do it

2 alex 09.06.08 at 9:03 am

same thing happened to me as erik

3 Ron 09.06.08 at 9:18 am

I went to start->programs->accessories->cmd> right clicked run as admin to open the cmd as administrator and did exactly as mentioned above. it worked for me.

4 Erik 09.06.08 at 3:44 pm

when i put it in exactly as it says
after pressing enter
it still says chrome.exe is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.

5 Chrome Blog 09.06.08 at 4:48 pm

Did you replace the /username/ with your actual computers username?

For example: C:\Users\Erik\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome

If your username is Erik and you are running Vista this should work.

6 Erik 09.06.08 at 5:08 pm

well i’m using xp
but when i’m in the command prompt
after i put in the exact thing it said to put in the command prompt
chrome.exe –user-data-dir=”..\User Data\Fred” -first-run
it says
chrome.exe is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.
i know where the chrome folder is at and i know how to make the shortcut the only problem i have is with the command prompt

7 Ben 09.06.08 at 5:33 pm

same thing as this guy ^^^

8 Erik 09.06.08 at 5:49 pm

oh and yes i used fred as what i want the profile called

9 Chrome Blog 09.06.08 at 7:10 pm

It’s working fine for me on both machines i just tried it on. So just to confirm, this is the command you are having problems with:

chrome.exe –user-data-dir=”..\User Data\Fred” -first-run

Did you switch to the Chrome application folder as mentioned before running the command?

10 erik 09.06.08 at 8:33 pm

this is what the command prompt looks like

11 erik 09.06.08 at 8:33 pm
12 erik 09.06.08 at 8:34 pm

to the picture of what the command prompt looks like

13 Erik 09.07.08 at 12:17 am

this is what the command prompt looks like

14 Bob 09.07.08 at 2:33 pm

Hey, I am having a problem with the shortcut. When I double click my new shortcut, I get the default chrome opening and it says:

This webpage is not available.

The webpage at http://xn--user-data-dir%3D-f82h3f./User might be temporarily down or it may have moved permanently to a new web address.

For referance, here is my Shortcut line, with owner being my name, and TW being the Chrome user i made.

C:\Users\owner\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe –user-data-dir=”..\User Data\TW”

15 Jacob 09.07.08 at 3:21 pm

im having the same problem with the chrome.exe is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.

What do you mean switch to application folder. wanna know because i just wanna make sure i am doing it right.

16 jamie 09.07.08 at 3:44 pm

Strange it worked fine for me i have 2 shortcuts on my desktop and they both launch different chromes. Now to add that Firefox theme to one so they look different. Thanks for this.

17 Erik 09.07.08 at 8:15 pm

can someone post a pic of what the command prompt is suppose to look like so that i know that mine looks right.

18 Andrea 09.08.08 at 3:48 am

I can help you!
To use the command line” chrome.exe –user-data-dir=”..\User Data\Fred” -first-run” you must to do two things:

1- go (from CMD, dos) into c:\documents and settings\ USERNAME \ Local settings \ Application data\ Google \ Chrome\ Application
2- now you can type chrome.exe –user-data-dir=”..\User Data\NAMEFOLDER” -first-run


19 Andrea 09.08.08 at 3:50 am

so you can use command on desktop to do the icon

20 Miha 09.08.08 at 2:12 pm

the syntax is probably wrong. In my experience this might be the cause: –user-data-dir (do you notice long line character(dec:196) before user-data-dir), you should replace that by typing – char(dec:45) in the icon properties.

use this tool to create new profiles and manage them: http://www.parhelia-tools.com/products/ppm/ppm.aspx

21 Raul 09.08.08 at 7:15 pm

No need t o muck with command prompt. For those facing problems just create a spare shortcut for chrome to make things easier. Then ‘right click’ the chrome shortcut, click ‘properties’ and in ‘target’ enter this information. The bit till chrome.exe in closed quotes will already be there, just add from ‘-user-data-dir….’ so the end result should look like this EXACTLY with opening and closing quote marks:

“C:\Documents and Settings\tobby\Local Settings\Application Data\Chromium\chrome.exe” -user-data-dir=”..\User Data\profile name”

Substitute profile name with your selected profile name.

22 NickKaplan 09.13.08 at 1:08 am

In creating the shortcut, It is giving me an error sayng “‘C:\Documents’ can not be found.” Why? I did all of the steps correctly. My Shortcut target:

C:\Documents and Settings\Nick\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe –user-data-dir=”..\User Data\NickKaplan”

23 Chrome Blog 09.13.08 at 3:02 am

NickKaplan – Please see the post Chrome Backup and Profile Tool. It contains a ‘point and click’ tool to fully manage profiles, so it does everything in this article and more.

There’s no commands to run, just a push button interface so it’s hard to go wrong.

24 Andreas 12.16.08 at 4:16 am

Hi, I had the same problem and finally I found out that the problem is wuth the ” symbol. When you cope and paste, replace the ” with your “. And that’s all

25 prasant 02.22.09 at 11:46 am

thnx buddy, this shortcut headache was too much. you solved my problem

26 LNS 05.26.09 at 5:01 am

I don’ understand. Can you expalin **open up Windows Explorer and change to the “User Data” folder inside the Chrome installation folder.** in more detail?

27 LNS 05.26.09 at 5:07 am

sorry. I thouth it was internet explorer…

28 NOdaddy.com 07.05.09 at 9:31 pm


29 gabor 12.08.09 at 5:06 pm

I could create a new profile on D: but how should I set this to default? If I click on a link I get the default profile instead of mine…

30 Bob Monkey 05.10.10 at 9:16 am

I wish I could find some instructions on how to create new profiles for Google Chrome browser running on Linux.

31 thinsmek 10.19.10 at 3:11 am

This works fine for me, but I noticed that Windows XP can’t copy everything in the Default Profile folder when Chrome is actually running.

“These 5 files are being used by another process ”

So make sure you close Chrome before copying the folder!

32 thinsmek 10.20.10 at 12:12 am

*Ahem* this didn’t work so well on my Mums computer. When I clicked the shortcut, the default profile of Chrome opened, plus several tabs saying that Chrome couldn’t find this and that user data.

So I gave in and used the Chrome Backup and Profile Tool provided by this website. It worked fine once I added the path “C:\Program Files\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe” to Show Paths under Preferences.


So thanks for the free program Chrome Plugins! It saved the day.

33 globalsoftbay 10.31.10 at 12:15 pm

A direct handy tool and manual creation….both are discussed at http://globalsoftbay.blogspot.com/2010/10/google-chrome-profiles.html

34 mark 12.17.11 at 12:35 pm

I found the instructions hard to follow as the language syntax changed in every section and as usual no thought to users that may not be as fluent in the commands as where they might be found, like “CMD” . And it seems many of the writers here have experienced poor outcomes trying to follow along, many with the same types of problems. Why don’t you do yourself and the readers a favor and rewrite the thing and fix the problems so fewer of us will have to waste our time here.

35 Will 06.08.12 at 8:55 am

Where are the instructions for entering profile or profile changes in Windows 7?

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